Yankees Recap: Following 19-inning thriller Yankees lose in ugly fashion 8-4 to Red Sox; A-Rod makes 1B debut


Entering the New York Yankees weekend’s series with the Boston Red Sox, Saturday’s storyline was supposed to be the first start of Adam Warren‘s transition from the bullpen.  Warren, making only his fourth career start, made his season debut Saturday needing to go deep after Friday night’s 19-inning marathon depleted the bullpen.

Instead, naturally, Alex Rodriguez snatched headlines when manager Joe Girardi announced that he would be seeing his first career action at first base.  Rodriguez looked slightly uncomfortable, and very cautious at first, but not bad, although he did commit an error, the Yankees sixth of the season.

Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli was beneficial of Rodriguez’s miscue leading off the second inning, as he was unable to scoop a low throw from shortstop Didi Gregorius.  After two slow ground outs to third baseman Chase Headley, Red Sox left fielder Daniel Nava hit a fly ball that Brett Gardner probably should have caught, but Nava ended up with an RBI double, giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.  Warren recovered to get Xander Bogaerts to fly out, limiting the damage.

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In the bottom half of the inning, Rodriguez attempted to make up for his error leading the inning off with a line drive single to left field, as he continues to have good at-bats.  After a fly out from Headley, Garrett Jones drew a walk.  John Ryan Murphy also drew a walk, with a wild pitch from Red Sox starter Joe Kelly mixed in, and suddenly with only one out the Yankees seemed to be in business.

Unfortunately, the situation only produced one run, as after a Gregorius fly out, Gregorio Petit struck out on three pitches, and Jones and Murphy were left stranded, something that has happened often in this short season.

Following a quick third inning, the fourth inning got off to a similar start as Warren quickly retired David Ortiz and Napoli.  Unfortunately, on the ninth pitch of a tough at-bat, Pablo Sandoval extended the inning with a single to center field.  After issuing a walk to Allen Craig, it was Nava who once again gave the Red Sox the lead, with another two-out RBI, a single to center field.  Nava improved to 4-5 with 4 RBI in the two games this weekend.

Warren started the fifth inning by getting into a first and second jam with nobody out, but was able to get Dustin Pedroia to ground into a double play.  He followed with a strike out of Ortiz, his first and only of the afternoon.

Leading off the bottom half of the inning, Murphy hit what would have been the Yankees first extra base hit of the game, and only their second hit, but right fielder Craig made a great sliding play just inside of the foul line.  Kelly quickly retired Gregorius and Petit to end the inning without further noise.

Warren retired Napoli to begin the sixth, and his day was done.  He finished allowing only two runs, one earned, over 5 1/3 innings pitched.  He allowed five hits, walked two, and struck out one.  Unfortunately for Warren, the Yankees inability to score runs ruined what was an impressive outing, something that has been a theme thus far.

Justin Wilson came on and was able to retire Sandoval and Craig to end the inning.  Wilson was back on for the seventh and walked Nava on four pitched, ending his day.  Chris Martin came on, and got Bogaerts to hit into a force out.

Bogaerts stole second base, and the Yankees defensive woes continued, as Murphy threw the ball into center field allowing Bogaerts to advance to third base.  Girardi brought the infield in, and Martin got a ground ball hit right at Headley at third base off the bat of Ryan Hanigan.  Bogaerts speed allowed him to beat the throw, and Hanigan reached on a fielders’ choice, as Martin strangely blocked Murphy’s throwing path.

Following a fly ball single by Brock Holt, Pedroia busted the game open with a two-run double over the head of Chris Young.  Martin settled down to get ground outs from Ortiz and Napoli, but trailing 5-1, with only one hit, the game was good as over.

The Yankees were absolutely shut down by Kelly, who was fresh off the disabled list.  After his second inning walk to Murphy, Kelly retired 17 straight Yankees.  He was able to give the Red Sox bullpen much needed rest, throwing 93 pitches across seven strong innings in which he allowed one earned run, with Alex Rodriguez‘s line drive single serving as the only hit he allowed.  Kelly walked two and struck out eight, ending his day with a strike out of Garrett Jones.

Matt Tracy, who was called up before the game, came on to start the eighth inning, making his major league debut.  Tracy, normally a starter, nearly had a perfect eighth inning.  After quickly retiring Sandoval and Craig, Tracy was able to get Nava to hit a slow roller to third.  Nava was initially ruled out, but after a challenge, it was determined that Rodriguez came off the bag.

Headley, who the Yankees gave $52 million as a defensive-first third baseman, made his second error on the season with a wide throw.  It was a play that regular first baseman Mark Teixeira probably would’ve made, but after playing nineteen innings Friday night, he was unavailable.  Instead, it was the eighth Yankees error in only five games.

This led to yet another big inning in what was an ugly game for the Yankees.  After a single by Bogaerts that was deflected by Tracy, Hanigan walked on five pitches.  Tracy should have challenged the light hitting Hanigan, yet instead the bases were loaded for lead-off hitter Brock Holt, who was having a strong game.

Holt hit a fly ball that right fielder Jones should have caught.  He misplayed the ball, and could not recover to make the catch.  Holt was awarded a three run double, improving to 4-5 on the afternoon.  The play should have been an error on Jones.  Gregorius also should have attempted to make a throw home and retired Hanigan but he didn’t.  Pedroia was retired, but the game was already well out of hand.

Murphy led the eighth off with another deep fly ball, but Nava was able to run it down in left field.  After Gregorius struck out, Petit was able to get hit first hit of the season.  Brett Gardner followed with a hard hit single past a diving Sandoval, and Chris Young smashed a hanging slider to deep left to bring the Yankees deficit to only four runs, ending Alexi Ogando‘s day.

If not for all the mistakes defensively, the three-run eighth inning home run would have had much more significance.  Instead, the lead still seemed insurmountable, as Carlos Beltran struck out to end the inning.

Tracy was back out for the ninth, and retired Ortiz.  He walked Napoli, and recorded his first career strikeout, retiring Sandoval.  Due to the shift, Napoli stole second on a delayed steal.  Tracy was able to prevent the lead from growing, getting Allen Craig to ground out to Gregorius, who made a nice charging play.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees were saw two quick outs, as Robbie Ross was able to strike Rodriguez out, and get Headley to ground out slowly to shortstop.  Garrett Jones went opposite the shift for a line drive double to left field to extend the game, but Murphy’s bad luck continued.  He hit the ball hard once again, but Sandoval made a great play to throw him out, and end the game.

The Yankees defense was supposed to be a strong suit, but after a three error game, and their fifth consecutive game with an error to begin the season, they now have eight on the season.  They have also made a few more plays that easily could have been ruled errors.  While the pitching staff has been strong, they have not been supported by good defense.

The offense had many question marks entering the season, and they have only been able to score 17 runs across five games, one of which went nineteen innings.  Combined with the eight errors, these problems have led to the Yankees great pitching amounting to nothing.

This was a game the Yankees should have won, if not for bad defense.  A few plays go differently and the outcome is completely different.  Instead, the Yankees fell to 1-4, and have only led for one inning this season.  While the season is still young, A-Rod is the only regular hitting above .250, making it hard for the Yankees to win games.

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